New and amended PBS listings to help Australians in the South West

8th November 2021

From 1 November 2021, Australians in South West WA with a respiratory illness, early onset puberty, blood cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer will have improved access to subsidised medicines through new and amended listings on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)

Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino MP welcomed the November PBS listings and said families in the South West will be able to access these treatments, reducing their out of pocket expenses.

“These subsidised medications have a huge impact on the health and lives of patients and their families in the South West.

“Without PBS subsidies many would be thousands of dollars out of pocket, instead they’ll only pay $41.30 per script or $6.60 with a concession card for these medicines”.

Australian men with prostate cancer will have access to a new medication at an affordable cost. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in men in Australia and the third most common cause of cancer death. Here in the Bunbury region, there are approximately 1763 men living with prostate cancer with an average of 184 new cases diagnosed each year. Nubeqa® (darolutamide) will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the first time for patients with non-metastatic castration resistant carcinoma of the prostate. Prostate cancer that is no longer stopped by low testosterone levels is known as castration resistant. Castration-resistant prostate cancer is defined by a rising prostate specific antigen level, worsening symptoms and/or growing cancer verified by scans. Without PBS subsidy, around 1,000 patients may pay more than $40,000 per year for treatment.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a preventable and treatable lung disease, which causes the airways in the lungs to narrow, making it difficult to breathe. About 1 in 20 Australians aged 45 years and over have COPD, tragically, in 2018 it was the fifth leading cause of death. Breztri Aerosphere® (budesonide + glycopyrronium + formoterol) will be available from November 1, 2021 on the PBS to treat COPD

Earlier this year, Darzalex® (daratumumab) was listed on the PBS for the first time for use in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone, as a second-line treatment for Australians with multiple myeloma. Patients will now have access to a new subcutaneous form of Darzalex®, which means it can be given at home as an injection under the skin rather than intravenous at a healthcare facility. Darzalex® is a ground-breaking treatment that mobilises the patient’s own immune system to fight the disease. This treatment will bring improved clinical outcomes and quality of life for those affected by this disease. Without PBS subsidy, around 1,165 Australians per year might pay more than $136,000 per course of treatment with this new subcutaneous form.

Diphereline is a new treatment option that will be expanded to include the treatment of central precocious puberty (CCP). This will help children manage the condition and reduce the number of consultations needed. Without PBS subsidy, around 800 Australians per year might pay more than $3,600 per year for treatment.

These PBS listings have been recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

Since 2013, the Federal Government had approved more than 2,700 new or amended listings on the PBS. This represents an average of around 30 listings or amendments per month – or one each day.

For more information on the PBS and the November listing changes visit www.pbs.gov.au